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Regional and Community Development

Courses and related research in Regional and Community Development (RCD) offers students a Ph.D. degree program founded on the premise that strong theory and research are the basis for solving problems related to the social, economic, and political development of localities worldwide. The Geography Graduate Group (GGG) faculty who teach and mentor students in this sub-field work in the areas of urban studies, rural development, migration studies, communications research, urban design, the political economy of social networks, and global-local interconnections.

Understanding the current dynamics of community development requires the analysis of the networks of social practice that interact in the social construction of place. The networks are both local and extra-local in scope, linking local social actors to wider social fields like state- and non-governmentally based organizations, corporate business networks, and transnational migrant networks. Investigating networks requires innovative approaches to theoretically driven research seeking to: (a) map the social organizations involved in the politics of community development and the ties connecting them; (b) comprehend the multiple contexts in which interacting networks are produced and changed; (c) grasp normative structures guiding these interactions; and, (d) assess changing patterns of community development resulting from cooperation and conflict.

Faculty teaching and advising students in Regional and Community Development are based in the Community Studies and Development Unit of the Department of Human and Community Development at UC Davis and it also includes a multidisciplinary group of faculty who are members of the Community Development Graduate Group (CDGG) and the GGG.

Graduates of the doctoral program who focus on Regional and Community Development will be prepared to: (1) teach and conduct research in academic programs in community development; (2) serve as teaching and research faculty in related departments such as urban design, city planning, rural development, communications, and other applied social sciences; (3) serve as researchers and problem-focused analysts in public, private, and non-governmental research institutions; and, (4) assume leading positions in agencies engaged in issues of community development at the local, regional, national, transnational, and international scales.

Faculty for this Concentration

Fullname Summary Academic Interest Area of Depth Department
Dave Campbell

Public policy and community governance; citizenship and civic engagement; non-profit and faith-related organizations; program evaluation

People, Place, and Region Human Ecology
David de la Peña

Participatory design, autonomous communities, architecture, urban design, sustainable site-planning, urban agriculture

Human Ecology
Adela de la Torre

Adela de la Torre, an agricultural economist, is the director and Professor of Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Davis. Dr. de la Torre's publications and research primarily focus on health care access and finance issues that affect the Latino community as well as Border health issues. In addition, she has completed studies on the impact of education on occupational location of Hispanics

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Adela de la Torre

Adela de la Torre, an agricultural economist, is the director and Professor of Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Davis. Dr. de la Torre's publications and research primarily focus on health care access and finance issues that affect the Latino community as well as Border health issues. In addition, she has completed studies on the impact of education on occupational location of Hispanics

Chicana/o Studies
Ryan E. Galt

Cultural and political ecology, agricultural and environmental governance, political economy of sustainable agriculture, cartographic design, the Americas

Nature and Society Human Ecology
Luis Guarnizo

Economic Sociology, transnational migration, immigrant entrepreneurs, comparative international development, citizenship

People, Place, and Region Human Ecology
Erin Hamilton

Sociology, social demographics

People, Place, and Region Sociology
Susan Handy

Relationships between transportation and land use, including the impact of land use on travel behavior and the impact of transportation investments on land development patterns

Environmental Science and Policy
Martin Kenney

Silicon Valley & regional development; Japanese & Korean overseas investments; Electronics industry; Biotechnology

People, Place, and Region Human Ecology
Jeff Loux

Environmental policy, community planning, land use planning, North America

Human Ecology
Patsy Eubanks Owens

Environments of children and adolescents, community participation

Human Ecology
Michael Rios

human geography, architecture, urban planning

Human Ecology
Julie Sze

Environmental Studies (environmental justice, urban environments, environmental activism, gender and the environment, garbage, transportation and energy); urban planning.

Nature and Society American Studies
Thomas P. Tomich

Agricultural sustainability, sustainable food systems, sustainability metrics and indicators, sustainability science; Geography emphasis includes land use and land cover change

People, Place, and Region Human Ecology
M. Anne Visser

Social inequality and equity, low wage and informal labor markets, socioeconomic integration and incorporation, public and urban policy

People, Place, and Region Human Ecology
Stephen M. Wheeler

Sustainable development; urban design; city and regional planning; land use; climate change

Human Ecology
Diane Wolf

Women in development; Southeast Asia

Nature and Society Sociology